The upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, has approved draft legislation to give better protection to investors. Federal Finance Minister Hans Eichel welcomed the decision, calling it an important signal that will serve to strengthen Germany's reputation as a financial center. The law strengthens the rights for small investors, and gives them the opportunity to take action against illegal business practices. New rules that are still in the making are aimed at making information about capital markets more transparent. The new law also attacks insider trading, making even the attempt to make deals with the advantage of insider information punishable. The law is due to come into effect in 2005.